Indian Oil to Clear Iran Payments Soon

NEW DELHI – Indian Oil Corp. paid Iran 73 million euros ($104 million) earlier this month and expects to clear its outstanding dues of about 380 million euro for crude purchases by the end of August, the financial head of the company said Wednesday. Indian Oil, the country’s largest refiner, has opened a rupee account with Union Bank of India, which is making payments in euros to Turkey’s Halkbank, P.K. Goyal said at a news conference. Indian refiners’ dues towards Iran rose to more than $5 billion after the South Asian nation’s central bank scrapped a longstanding clearing mechanism in December, which the U.S. says Tehran could use to finance its alleged nuclear weapons program. Both countries tried settling trade through Germany’s Bundesbank, but that channel was also closed under U.S. pressure. India has now started routing payments through Istanbul and media reports say the new conduit has U.S. approval. Iran’s central bank has received 1 billion rupees ($1.42 billion) from Indian refiners and debts accumulated by India now stand at about $4.8 billion, Iran’s Fars news agency reported Monday, citing Ahmad Ghalebani, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Co. Indian Oil buys 1.5 million tons, or 30,000 barrels, a day of crude from Iran. It has received 817,000 tons from Iran during April-July, Mr. Goyal said, adding that a cargo is expected in September as there were no contracted supplies for August. The new co… >>>

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